Always include captions and audio descriptions in your SMIL multimedia.
- SMIL is written in XML.
- SMIL synchronizes separate media tracks (like video, captions and audio descriptions) on the fly, as opposed to embedding each of these tracks into a single large movie. This makes it easier to create and maintain multimedia.
- These movie clips contains both captions and descriptions. CAR.SMI contains captions and descriptions in both English and German, but ELEV1.SMI contains captions and descriptions only in English. The RealNetworks G2 Player has the capability to toggle the captions on and off, as described later in this slide. Note: The audio descriptions are open -- that is, they can't be turned off.
- These particular SMIL clips are playable only on the RealNetworks G2, which uses some proprietary code. Other SMIL players and editors are GRiNS, available from Oratrix, and SOJA, available from Helio.
For an example of how it's done, play the two movie clips shown below. Don't have a SMIL player? Check the multimedia software page before going any further.
If you want to demonstrate these examples in a classroom setting, we suggest you download the zipped files as indicated. Then the clips and associated files can be played very efficiently from your hard-drive. Also, you can look at the various files that combine to make the SMIL clip
- Download CAR.ZIP (2 MB) and/or ELEV1.ZIP (5.5 MB).
- Unzip each file with WinZip. (Download and install WinZip if necessary.)
- Start the G2 player and play the movies by opening the appropriate SMIL files: CAR.SMI or ELEV1.SMI. In each movie, you should see captions centered below the video window and hear audio descriptions interspersed with the program narration.
To see what a SMIL command file looks like, view the source for either the Car clip or the Elevator clip
To see what a synchronized SMIL caption file looks like, view either CARCAPSEN.RT or ELEVCAPS.RT
CAR.SMI has captions and descriptions in both English and German. Using the G2 player, you can toggle between these two languages. To do so...
Open the G2 Player. Before playing the movie, you'll need to program the G2 to display captions (or subtitles) and descriptions in one of two languages:
- Open the Options menu
- Choose Preferences
- Choose the Content tab
- Choose English or German from the Language listbox
- Check the Enable Captions box at the bottom of the window
To the Multimedia Software Page.
- Play the movie by opening CAR.SMI. You should see captions or subtitles centered below the video window and hear audio descriptions interspersed with the program narration. To change languages again, just repeat step C, above.
- All movie clips need to have an accompanying transcript, so take a look at the transcript of ELEVATOR.